BEREA, Ohio — Cleveland Browns All-Pro Myles Garrett returned to the team’s headquarters but didn’t practice Thursday while recovering from injuries sustained in a car crash earlier this week, when police said he lost control speeding on a rural road.
Garrett, the team’s former No. 1 overall pick from Texas A&M and Arlington Martin High School, veered his Porsche off the hilly road near his home Monday, flipping the vehicle and hitting a fire hydrant. The defensive end suffered a sprained shoulder, strained biceps and had several cuts and bruises from the wreck.
He has not yet been ruled out for Sunday’s game at Atlanta. Garrett visited with team doctors for an evaluation. He was not with his teammates during the portion of practice open to reporters.
Also on Thursday, the Ohio State Highway Patrol cited Garrett for speeding, saying he was going 65 mph in a 45 mph zone.
According to the accident report, Garrett, who had a female passenger in his car, told an officer he was accelerating up a hill when he saw a vehicle coming in the opposite direction but didn’t make any type of swerving maneuvers to avoid a crash.
The officer said Garrett couldn’t exactly recall how he went off the road.
A witness at the scene told the highway patrol “they came over the hill flyin’, went airborne, took the fire hydrant out and rolled three times.”
Garrett and his 23-year-old passenger were taken to Akron General Hospital for emergency care. The highway patrol said the passenger suffered a minor head injury. They were both released a few hours later.
The highway patrol also released photos of the crash site and Garrett’s severely damaged car.
Garrett has a history of speeding. He was ticketed on consecutive days in Medina County last year for driving 120 mph. In the second case, he paid a ticket in which the speed was amended to 99 mph in a 70 mph zone.
On Wednesday, coach Kevin Stefanski said Garrett will be thoroughly evaluated before a decision is made on his playing status. With 14 games left this season, the Browns will likely take a cautious approach
Along with Garrett, the Browns (2-1) have several other defensive starters dealing with injuries as they prepare for the Falcons (1-2).
Over the past two days, several of Garrett’s teammates and coaches have offered gratitude and relief that he was not more seriously injured.
Cornerback Greg Newsome II spoke to Garrett upon his return.
“He looked happy just to be able to see us all again.” Newsome said. “I just told him, ‘I love you. I am glad you are here.’ We will definitely be there for him, whatever he needs, and can’t wait for him to get back healthy.”
Pro Bowl guard Joel Bitonio, a team captain, said Garrett’s incident is a reminder to all players to be careful.
“First and foremost we’re just happy that he’s OK for the most part,” Bitonio said. “He was here today so we got to see him a little bit. Coach Stefanski just stressed to us that we gotta be safe driving, we gotta be safe on the roadways and things of that nature.
“You just want to protect yourself. It’s really just protecting yourself and the people around you in general. But we’re just happy he’s back in the building and hopefully he’s ready to roll here when he feels good.”
The No. 1 overall pick in 2017, Garrett needs one sack to pass Clay Matthews (62) for the team’s career record.
The Browns, who had an extended break after beating the Pittsburgh Steelers last Thursday, are dealing with rash of injuries to their defense. End Jadeveon Clowney (ankle), cornerback Denzel Ward (back, ribs), linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah (groin) and tackle Taven Bryan (hamstring) are also on the injury report.
Ward and Owusu-Koramoah took part in individual drills during the early portion of practice Thursday.